Mark of the Ninja

More than anything else, Mark of the Ninja gives the player the feeling of being a stealthy assassin. Moving around is smooth and reading the environment is easy – except for a few sections where the story dictates otherwise, you are always in control of the environment. When stealth is easy and obvious, clearing a room becomes a puzzle instead of a timing challenge – unlike most other stealth games, Mark of the Ninja is about what you do with your skills rather than actually doing it. The scenarios are never particularly difficult so after grasping the basics it becomes more of a sandbox to play around with – the challenge suffers, but the feeling is still there.

It does have some slightly annoying platforming to go along with it though. Checkpoints are occasionally few and far between so attempting to clear certain bonus objectives becomes a frustrating exercise in repeating mundane tasks. The way Mark of the Ninja makes the game harder for a second playthrough is by removing the UI, which does not really enhance what’s unique and good about the game, it just makes it more frustrating.

It is a gorgeous game though – the graphics are moody and manages to give you a ton of clues in an elegant manner. It offers a variety of ways to play it and encourages you to try them all. It is visceral and responsive – no matter if it is relatively easy, picking off guards in a room one by one never gets old.

… In addition, and this seems to be becoming a theme;

The Bridge is a nice puzzle-platformer that looks like an Escher- sketch and consists of rotating the world around you. It has some really clever mechanics and devious puzzles – sadly, it suffers a bit from the very limited set of inputs. For the first third of the game puzzles are mundane, after that they become a bit hard to read and often reliant on precision movement – I had to try things in small increments on many levels which became frustrating since the game was so slow. Still, there are a decent number of really intelligent puzzles in there and it looks really good.

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Posted on Mar 02/13 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »